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*batteries not included
(1987)
Album Cover Art
1987 Varèse
2018 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie
Billy May
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(1987)

Intrada Records
(September 17th, 2018)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1987 Varèse album was a regular U.S. release but went out of print and sold for more than $75 as of the mid-1990's. The 2018 Intrada album was limited to an unknown number of copies and retailed at soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $30. It was out of print in less than two years.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you desire a rough foreshadowing of the balance between vintage jazz and orchestral sensitivity in James Horner's later Cocoon: The Return and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Avoid it... if you expect Horner's cute, uniquely playful tones for the mechanized alien visitors in this film to translate well to album, especially on the exceedingly long 2018 product.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,580
WRITTEN 8/21/09, REVISED 8/31/20
Horner
Horner
*batteries not included: (James Horner) Originally meant to be an episodic entry in Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" television series of the mid-1980's, the plot of *batteries not included was considered too overflowing with potential to constrain to anything less than a full feature film. Unfortunately, while Spielberg produced the film and brought a lot of his comfortable talent with him for Universal, he declined to schedule the film into his own directorial schedule. Instead helming *batteries not included was Matthew Robbins, and although he does a decent enough job of emulating Spielberg's sense of wonderment for the production, Robbins was quickly pounced upon by critics for missing the same touch. The basic ingredients of an affable Spielberg story of the 1980's are all there, however, merging concepts from E.T. and Cocoon to form a story of two, small flying saucers from outer space that float into the window of an elderly couple's New York apartment one night. That couple is played by Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn (not only a real-life pair but both also appearing in Cocoon: The Return the following year), and they run a restaurant at the base of their New York apartment complex that happens to be the target of developers. The two little saucers mean well, and after using appliance parts and household power to rejuvenate themselves, they take on the cause of the couple in saving their building from the developers' thugs. The picture is as cute as one could possibly imagine, though despite strong special effects and Spielberg's influence, *batteries not included did not tug at enough heart strings to be considered truly memorable. No stranger to either Universal's Spielberg-related productions or the genre of science fiction fairy tales was composer James Horner, whose career was entering full swing (quite literally) by the time *batteries not included arrived in 1987. The assignment gave Horner the opportunity to stay firmly rooted in his comfort zone within this narrow sub-genre, plucking many of the elements from his music for Cocoon for rearrangement in *batteries not included while also testing a few ideas that would receive significantly more development in The Land Before Time the next year.


Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
127 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.93 Stars
***** 19 5 Stars
**** 24 4 Stars
*** 35 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 21 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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FVSR Reviews *batteries not included
Brendan Cochran - May 14, 2016, at 12:11 p.m.
1 comment  (501 views)
Review at Movie Wave
Southall - July 23, 2015, at 2:11 p.m.
1 comment  (568 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1987 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:41
• 1. Main Title (4:59)
• 2. Night Visitor (8:50)
• 3. Hamburger Rhumba (3:42)
• 4. New Babies (3:47)
• 5. Cafe Swing (3:34)
• 6. Times Square and Farewell (6:09)
• 7. Arson (6:10)
• 8. New Family (8:29)
2018 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 135:11

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1987 Varèse album includes no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2018 Intrada album contains extensive notes about both.
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from *batteries not included are Copyright © 1987, 2018, Varèse Sarabande, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/21/09 and last updated 8/31/20.
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